Continuing a depressing trend, two farmers in Odisha have committed suicide. They died after consuming poison due to crop losses in Bolangir district, taking the death toll in such cases toll rises in the state to nine.
Krutibash Gahir of Ramudu village allegedly consumed poison after the loss of his paddy and cotton crops.
(Also Read: Three more farmers die in Odisha)
Both the farmers had raised loans for sowing crops but a weak monsoon damaged their crops, a source said.
(Also Read:Farmer commits suicide in Odisha, another fights for life)
Local Met sources said the state received 14 per cent deficit rainfall this monsoon, resulting in a drought-like situation and crop loss of above 33 percent in over 5.23 lakh hectares of cultivated land.
Odisha usually receives 1,144.3 mm rainfall during the monsoon from June to September, but it received only 1,031 mm rain this year.
Meanwhile, in the wake of farmers’ suicides, the opposition accused the Navin Patnaik government of failure to take steps to mitigate the drought situation.
Leader of opposition and senior Congress leader Narasingha Mishra dubbed suicides by farmers as “an epidemic gone beyond the control of the state administration”.
He said the state government was still in a deep slumber and yet to recover from its festive hangover.
The Paschim Odisha Krushak Sangathan Samanvaya Samiti, a forum fighting for the cause of farmers in western Odisha, threatened to launch an agitation over the deaths of farmers and the state government’s alleged failure in tackling the drought situation.
Samiti convenor Ashok Pradhan said farmers would stage demonstrations in front of the collectorates in 11 districts on 9 November.
Meanwhile, Agriculture Minister Pradeep Maharathy said the state government was examining the alleged suicides of farmers.